After a tough series offensively in Lexington, the top five hitters of the Greenville Drive (8-7, 30-54) lineup got everything back on track on Friday, as they combined for 12 of the Drive's 14 hits in an 8-4 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats (6-8, 49-34) at Fluor Field.
Aneury Tavarez and Drew Turocy collected three hits apiece to lead the way, with Turocy finishing a homer short of the cycle. Mookie Betts, David Chester and Jose Vinicio all added two hits.
Vinicio hit a one-out single in the bottom of the first, stole second and third, then came in on an error to give the Drive a 1-0 lead.
Savannah tied the game in the second against Drive starter Jacob Dahlstrand on Eudy Pina's solo homer to left, and an RBI single by Albert Cordero gave them a 2-1 lead.
The Drive retook the lead in the third. Betts doubled with one out and scored on Turocy's RBI triple off the center field wall. Chester followed by lining a single to left for the 3-2 lead.
That lead lasted until the sixth, when the Sand Gnats recaptured the lead with Austin Maddox (2-5) on the mound. Dimas Ponce blooped a single into left field to score Phillip Evans to knot the game up, and Maddox uncorked a wild pitch shortly thereafter to make the score 4-3.
The Drive roared back in the bottom half and scored four runs to put an end to the lead changes, as new Sand Gnats reliever Tyler Vanderheiden (4-1) pitched to eight batters and only recorded one out in the frame. Vanderheiden balked in the first run, and consecutive singles by Betts and Vinicio each plated a run. Turocy then smacked a double to left field for the final run of the inning.
Tavarez added some insurance in the eighth inning, as his double to center scored Vinicio, who drew a leadoff walk.
The big sixth inning made a winner out of Maddox despite the blown save. JB Wendelken finished with two scoreless frames and three strikeouts to snag his seventh save of the year.
Cordero had three hits to lead Savannah, while Evans added a pair of hits.
The two teams will play a doubleheader at Fluor Field on Saturday, with both games lasting seven innings. First pitch for game one is set for 5:00, with gates opening at 4:00. RHP Justin Haley (4-7, 4.18) and RHP Luis Diaz (3-4, 3.38) will take the mound for the Drive, while the projected starters for the Sand Gnats are LHP Steven Matz (2-4, 2.53) and RHP Luis Cessa (4-2, 3.14).